Final Christmas Push Sends Online Holiday Sales to $35.3 Billion

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Reston, VA—Last minute shoppers who swarmed stores in the days before Christmas weren’t the only procrastinators.

According to comScore, a source for digital analytics, for the week ended Dec. 25, online sales booked some $2.4 million in spending, a 16% increase over the corresponding week in 2010.

In fact, online sales have been fairly constant throughout the holiday season.

For the first 56 days of the November/December holiday season, $35.3 billion has been spent online, marking a 15% increase versus the corresponding days last year.

“We can now say with certainty that the $1.25 billion spent on Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) will rank it as the heaviest online spending day of the season for the second consecutive year, but we should also note that it was accompanied by nine other billion dollar spending days this year,” Gian Fulgoni, comScore’s chairman said.

In another report, RichRelevance found that mobile sales increased from 1.87% in April to 3.74% in December. While mobile commerce is definitely on the rise, mobile-generated online sales account for only 3% of total sales.

“Our findings show a steady growth in mobile usage over a nine month period, so this is not a holiday phenomenon– it’s how people shop,” said David Selinger, ceo at RichRelevance.“The blurring of physical and digital shopping will continue: that means some shoppers are standing in physical stores while checking other stores and products on a mobile device; other shoppers are at home, perhaps checking a product after seeing an ad on television.”

Christmas Day Sees Huge Spike

Although most retailers are closed in observance of Christmas Day, consumers have been shopping online even on Dec. 25, driven by gifts they have received such as tablet computers, smartphones, e-readers etc.

ComScore reports that there’s been a steady increase in digital content or subscriptions throughout the holiday season. On average such subscriptions account for about 2.8% of all retail sales. But on Christmas Day that spiked to more than 20% of all sales.

As more consumer use their new handheld devices, expect to see mobile commerce sales increase as a result. “That means that retailers need to think and rethink how they service shoppers across all channels because from the shopper’s point-of-view, it is one seamless interaction,” said Selinger.




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